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24 career recruits graduate
Sixteen weeks of intensive training came to the end last Friday 6 December for 24 career firefighter recruits, marked by a graduation ceremony held at the CFA State Training College at Fiskville.
The recruits, aged between 25 and 42, hail from a variety of backgrounds and professions, including trades, education, defence, finance, IT and hospitality.
Many have previous experience as volunteer firefighters with CFA brigades, and three come from other states (Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania).
Following graduation, the firefighters will take up postings at fourteen stations across Victoria: Wodonga, Springvale, Traralgon, Craigieburn, Point Cook, Sunbury, Warrnambool, Belmont, Greenvale, Shepparton, Mildura, Cranbourne, Rosebud and Boronia fire stations.
All of the positions have been created under Project 2016, a state-wide program that works to maintain CFA’s service delivery cpability.
CFA Board Chair Claire Higgins said that the 24 recruits would become part of an emergency service that protects lives and property in our communities.
“They should all be proud of their accomplishments, as I’m sure their families and friends gathered here today are,” she said.
Recruit Administration staff member Julie Wilson, who has worked closely with the recruits since they began their training in August said that for most recruits, their new posting would mean a move away from home.
“It’s been quite a long road for the recruits already, even the process for them to get onto the course in the first place is quite major, involving interviews and stringent physical challenge tests,” she said.
“To even get here they really have to want it, and I’ve known people who have made four or five attempts in the past.
The graduation ceremony was also attended by CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson, who joined Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay and Emergency Services Commissioner Michael Hallows in congratulating the recruits.
Funding from Project 2016 has also seen upgrades and improvements to the facilities for instructors and students at the Fiskville college. Works on a new ablutions block and new 30-bed student accommodation facility are now complete.